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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffMonte B Cowboy Date: Jun 24, 2012 5:18am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Oh, my.... some facts on the ground

drought.jpg

• According to the scientists at Texas A&M University, the Agricultural Business losses in the State of Texas due to the 2011 drought reached a record $7.62 billion. These devastating losses make This Drought the most costly drought in U.S. history, according to these updated totals produced by Texas AgriLife Extension Service economists.

“2011 was the driest year on record and certainly an infamous year of distinction for the state’s farmers and ranchers,” said Dr. David Anderson, AgriLife Extension livestock economist. “The $7.62 billion mark for 2011 is more than $3.5 billion higher than the 2006 drought loss estimates, which previously was the costliest drought on record. The 2011 losses also represent about 43 percent of the average value of agricultural receipts over the last four years.”

“No one alive has seen single-year drought damage to this extent,” said Dr. Travis Miller, AgriLife Extension agronomist and a member of the Governor’s Drought Preparedness Council. “Texas farmers and ranchers are not strangers to drought, but the intensity of the drought, reflected in record high temperatures, record low precipitation, unprecedented winds coupled with duration – all came together to devastate production agriculture.”
• May 3, 2012 - New U.S. gov't report warns of weather satellites' 'rapid decline'
A new government-sponsored report warns that the USA's ability to track tornadoes, forecast hurricanes and study climate change is about to diminish. The number and capability of weather satellites circling the planet "is beginning a rapid decline" and tight budgets have significantly delayed or eliminated missions to replace them, says a National Research Council analysis out Wednesday.

The number of in-orbit and planned Earth observation missions by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is projected to drop "precipitously" from 23 this year to only six by 2020, the report found. That means the number of instruments monitoring Earth's activity is expected to decline from a peak of about 110 last year to fewer than 30 by the end of the decade.

Dennis Hartmann, professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington, Seattle, and chair of the committee, warned that the loss of capacity will have "profound consequences on science and society, from weather forecasting to responding to natural hazards."